I am pigeonholed into a conundrum that doesn't allow people to quite understand my daily dilemma. No, I am not as stick skinny as you would expect me to be considering you always see me with a banana, or yogurt or veggies being shoveled into my pie slot. I am not a size 4. I do not have exposed ribs or pelvic bones. I have an ass. I have a womans rack (and a nice one, if I do say so myself!), rather than the flat chest of a 12 year old girl. I have curves and wrinkles of skin and flabby knees. And yet, I workout 5-6 days a week. I run, I kettlebell like a mother fucker, I yoga like a true yogi, I elliptical and treadmill and circuit train with the best of them. So, clearly I am a conundrum and people don't know how to interpret me. I am not what you expect me to be, and that is ok.
And to those people I say:
I'm sorry I am no longer your fat friend. I'm sorry that I can't make you feel better about drowning your sorrows in an entire peanut butter pie by joining you. I'm sorry that I would rather go to the gym than hang out on your couch eating Doritos and drinking vodka/tea's. I'm sorry that you don't understand why I won't have "just one cookie" or why I choose to take the bread off of my sandwich and just eat the protein filled turkey and cheese that is actually good for me. I'm sorry that I made a vow to change my life and I tricked you all by sticking to it. I'm sorry that when you look at me waiting for me to gain my weight back, instead I work harder and build more muscle. I'm sorry that we can't share clothes anymore. I'm sorry that you couldn't be a real friend who was truly happy for me. I'm sorry that I stopped feeling sorry for myself, and started valuing my life and all that it had to offer.
I'm sorry you don't take the time to see inside my soul. I'm sorry that you are missing out on someone who is worth more now because she isn't ashamed to leave the house, or try to buckle herself into your car, or eat in a restaurant without thinking she is being criticized. I'm sorry that you are missing out on someone who is stronger, happier and healthier. I'm sorry that you are to small minded to see past my outsides, and realize I am the same funny, loud, loving, big hearted person that I was when I was just...well, a big person. I'm sorry that you don't take the time to recognize that I work hard to be a better person for the people that truly support me. My mother, my father, my sisters, my true family, my husband, my children. The people who really matter. I'm sorry you will miss out on all of that. I'm sorry that you neglect to remember all the years I hated myself. How quickly you forget all the times I cried on your shoulder, telling you I would rather be dead than fat. How easy it was for you to erase the memories of me being too embarassed to enter a store that wasn't "fat people friendly" for fear of being judged. I guess it was easier to love me when there was, literally, more of me to love. Shame on you for such conditional acceptance.
But on the flip side, thank you. Thank you for not believing in me. Thank you for doubting me. Thank you for showing me your true colors. Thank you for being jealous and envious and bitter and mean. Because you are the reason I put down the cookies and pick up the free weights every, single day. You are the reason I may not be a size 4, but I will never be a size 24 again. You are the reason I make myself go to the gym or roll out the yoga mat when I would rather sit on the couch, watching reruns of Full House. You are the reason I now know the people I can really trust. Thank you for being the reason I wake up everyday sure of knowing who I can turn to, who really supports me, and who loves me just the way I am. Thank you for allowing me to look myself in the mirror and love me in spite of my flaws.
To all the people who don't know where I belong, it's probably because I don't belong in your life. But, thank you for being part of my journey, because all of the stumbles and falls of yesterday have led me to walk stronger and taller today. And maybe, just maybe, tomorrow I will run. But you won't be there to see it, and that is ok, because you don't deserve to be a part of my joy, anymore than I deserve to be a part of your self hatred.